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Belgian family calls Wyoming 'the cowboy country you dream of'
Jul 7, 2013 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
Nesta Geirnaert turned 2 years old on May 16 far from her place of birth. She and her family -- father Steven Geirnaert and mother Heidi Renwa -- are from Belgium and are spending the summer traveling on bicycles from Las Vegas to Canada.
On June 18, the trio stopped in Lander and Fort Washakie, where they rested briefly in the Frank B. Wise Building and used a computer to update their blog documenting the trip.
The family arrived with their equipment May 1 in Las Vegas and set off to see the Western states for the first time. Steven said they ride about 40 miles a day and enjoy spending 24 hours a day with their toddler. Both took some time off their regular jobs in Belgium to take the four-month tour that they expect to finish by the beginning of September. Cycling long distances is not new to the couple. They recently completed a one-year trip in China.
After traveling through Nevada, they cycled to Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Once in Wyoming, they made stops in Saratoga, Rawlins, Muddy Gap, Jeffrey City, Lander and Fort Washakie and intended to visit Crowheart and Dubois on June 19. Their trip also will take them to the Yellowstone National Park, Idaho and Montana before ending in Canada where they will take a flight home.
Cycling on the shoulder, they said, hasn't been the best, but the winds have been OK. Steven said they caught a few cold nights when they first arrived in Wyoming. Heidi said they don't stay in hotels and try to camp anywhere they can with the appropriate permission. With camping in Wyoming, however, they've had to make some changes to their equipment and supplies.
"Yesterday we bought bear spray," Steven said.
"We have never done that before," Heidi said.
As for Nesta, she has the option to ride with her father in the attachment bike trailer or with her mother on a rear seat. So far she's favored the trailer.
"It's like her little home," Heidi said, adding that they carry a portable potty trainer with them to teach Nesta what most children her age are learning in a home bathroom this summer.
They've titled their blog -- which is written in Dutch -- "Nesta's Journey Through the States."
In the blog they make some comparisons of Wyoming to areas in the United Kingdom, Spain and Morocco.
"Wyoming is also the state of cowboys, rodeo and country. The cowboy country you dream of as a boy," reads the blog. "The landscapes are always breathtaking and diverse."